How Puppies Show Affection

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If a sweet and playful puppy has just entered into your life, you're probably still in the process of establishing a strong bond with her. Understanding her body language signals, whether they indicate affection or not, may go a long way in helping you know your pooch inside and out.


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Face Licking

Puppies, like adult dogs, may express love and affection by licking the face of the object of their admiration. If you're watching television on the couch and your pup suddenly starts giving your face enthusiastic "kisses" with her tongue, take it as a sincere canine compliment. This behavior isn't only directed to humans, but to other doggies, too. Face licking, apart from affection, also is an acknowledgement of the higher social tier of another individual. When puppies are a few months old, they start understanding the concept of dominance.



Not many things are more endearing than the sight of a clumsy puppy jumping around. If your pup is excitedly jumping up and down on the floor, it's very likely a sign of affection for you. After all, the little one is trying to get high enough to get some direct access to your face. It's licking time, again! Make things easier on her by crouching down for a minute, perhaps.

Rolling Over

If a puppy rolls over onto her back and shows you her tummy, she's essentially conveying to you that not only is she comfortable with you, but that she also really loves you, too. At the same time, she may also be slyly asking for you to give her a soothing belly rub. Rolling over body language in dogs usually indicates joy and relaxation.


Wagging Tail

Although a wagging tail doesn't exclusively signify love or happiness in dogs, it often does. If your puppy, starting from her hips, moves her tail widely back and forth, then she is likely communicating to you that not only does she truly adore you, but that she has a lot of esteem and admiration for you, too.


A puppy may also show affection by exhibiting staring behaviors. If your pup has a penchant for gazing at you for all the livelong day, it probably means that she feels affectionately for you, and that she likely wants your attention for play or food, too. She may also follow you around incessantly to show you her loyal and lasting puppy love.


By Naomi Millburn

Caring Hands Humane Society: Body Language of Dogs
The Humane Society of the United States: Puppy Behavior Basics
Animal Planet: Dogs That Lick
Cold Nose Companions: Canine Body Language

About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.